Coronavirus impact: Sunnyvale farm looking for donations to help cope with coronavirus pandemic

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Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Sunnyvale farm looking for donations on to help cope with COVID-19
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Animal Assisted Happiness Smile Farm is remaining positive after their generator was stolen. The farm survives off of donations and you can do your part to help them in these tough times.

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (KGO) -- Everyone is changing the way that they do life during the coronavirus pandemic, including Animal Assisted Happiness, a farm that we have told you about here on ABC7 News.

This non-profit has had to deal with these changes, a major burglary and their normal need for donations, but they remain smiling through it all.

RELATED: Sunnyvale farm bringing happiness and smiles through animal therapy

The animals at Animal Assisted Happiness Smile Farm in Sunnyvale look happy enough, but things are different.

They may not realize it, but COVID-19 is changing the world around them.

With shelter in place orders, the farm has had to close its doors to volunteers and guests, leaving the majority of the work to be done by a small group of people and the animals without the normal love they receive.

"They're definitely lacking the touch, the noise and the socialization of it," AAH Program Manager Simone Haroush said.

So how do they cope?

Zoom meetings with farm animals.

AAH is now offering virtual visits for classes of students with disability for free, or for large companies for a donation of at least $50.

Without the ability to take their animals on classroom visits like normal, this is a way for them to socialize and spread smiles.

"We create smiles for kids on a virtual tour and they love it," Haroush said. "They get to see the bigger animals that they don't normally see in the classroom. It's just so cool."

RELATED: ABC7 'Building a Better Bay Area' story inspires viewers to help Sunnyvale nonprofit farm

The animals survive on volunteers and donations and since you can't visit the farm right now, donating is your only way to help.

Giving Tuesday gives you that opportunity.

The farm hopes the public gives back on this international charity day.

The AAH board will match up to $19,500 of the donations given to the farm from the community.

These are needed funds in these trying times.

After seeing the great work that AAH did by watching our story on ABC7, Cliff Martin and his father-in-law, Dale, wanted to give back.

One of the ways that they did was through a generator for the property.

In March, the farm was burglarized and the generator was stolen.

These donations could help replace that.

This is just one of many challenges in life right now, but AAH will always have reasons to smile.

"We will always create smiles," Haroush said. "We will always have the animals that will help us create smiles. Why would it stop us? There's more good than bad in the world."

To donate to Animal Assisted Happiness, you can visit their website here.

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